KENT, Ohio (WJW) – Left paralyzed after he was hit while riding a motorcycle, Matt Parisi of Akron does not let that keep him from operating a landscaping business.
While cutting grass at a customer’s property in Kent, Parisi says he saw the grass in a ditch was overgrown and, trying to cut it, he quickly realized he was in trouble.
“I came at it at the wrong angle and more or less the mower bottomed out,” said Parisi.
Unable to get himself out and without anyone there to help, Dalisa Dunaway said she felt something was wrong and asked if he needed help.
“I heard the lawnmower kind of stop and so I walked up to the front and he was just sitting there,” said Dunaway. “All the kids were back here playing so I just came back here and got one of them and they called the other ones down.”
Dunaway quickly rallied 13 kids, ages 8-16, to come and help.
“They were a little bit like, ‘I don’t know about this one. How much does it weigh?’ and I was like, ‘1,000 pounds’ and one of them was like, joking around, ‘man, that’s as much as an elephant,”‘ said Parisi.
Working together, the kids were able to lift the heavy mower from the ditch.
“I knew we all could do it together. I didn’t think one person could do it but everybody together could do it. I knew that,” said one of the kids.
On Tuesday, their efforts were recognized by Kent Police officer Joe Hadaway and Officer Dominic Poe, who works as a school resource officer.
The officers thanked the kids for their effort and treated them to candy.
Parisi says the effort restores his faith in all that is good.
“For them to do that, it meant a lot. Meant the world to me that they could come together like that.”